Each session in the Rolfing ten series has its unique theme and set of goals. Together all of them constitute an arch of a journey that leads to greater integration, freedom of movement and expression. Here is a brief description of each single session.
Rolfing session 1 – beginning the journey
The first Rolfing session marks the beginning of the integrative journey for the client and the Rolfer and is critical in setting up the context for the future encounters. The client and the Rolfer’s first meeting offer a chance to take time to investigate the client’s body story, and to set goals, aspirations and boundaries. This all prepares good foundations so that the therapeutic relationship can thrive throughout the process. The major themes of the first session are breathing, capacity to reach, and differentiation of the torso from the pelvis.
Rolfing session 2 – the ground
The key themes of the second Rolfing session are related to questions of support and adaptability and how these inform the client’s sense of verticality. If the first encounter with the client focuses on creating a good frame in which the therapeutic relationship can flourish by exploring the body’s capacity to extend and reach, the second session is about giving a good base, or ground for these explorations in walking, standing and sitting. Anatomically, the relationship between the feet and legs and the back and head are at the heart of this session. Whilst understanding that support is an event enacted by the whole of the client’s system, the Rolfer tunes into to the questions of how the client experiences the ground, how the ground informs their coordination, and what symbols are used to describe the ground.
Rolfing session 3 – the bridge
The third session in the Rolfing ten series builds a bridge between the interventions of the first and the second session. Whilst the first two sessions were mainly concerned with reaching into the world and finding a base from which this reach could be sustained, the third session focuses on a dialogue between these two events. The Rolfer develops the themes of this session around the readiness to act from the place of the “middle” between the front and back, also known as the lateral line. Session three is also very important in evoking the client’s capacity to fully involve the spine and both the pelvic and shoulder girdles in walking. This usually results in more economic and gracious movement.
Rolfing session 4 – the core
The forth Rolfing session marks the beginning of the core phase of the process. After the sleeve sessions 1, 2 and 3, the client and the Rolfer are now beginning to direct their attention into the deep or “mid line” structures of the body. The 4th session initiates the process of discovering, often for the first time, the deep structures of the leg, the pelvic floor and the front of the spine.
Rolfing session 5 – upward orientation
The fifth Rolfing session is the second one in the series of the core sessions (4, 5, 6, & 7) and also a part of investigating the client’s capacity to be oriented upwards, together with sessions 1, 3 & 7. The key themes of this Rolfing session relate to the questions of volume, transition of spinal curves and relationship between the visceral and the superficial structures. The 5th session is also concerned with bridging the 4th session work of evoking the deep mid line from the ground up further to the abdominal and thoracic spaces.
Rolfing session 6 – the back
The 6th Rolfing session in the Rolfing 10 series is the back session. It is the first session whereby the majority of the interventions take place with the client in the prone position. This allows the Rolfer to perceive, access and work with the territory of the session i.e. sacrum, posterior leg and back in a global as well as a local way. The 6th session is a continuation of investigating the client’s relationship with the ground. It is concerned with continuing to bring the support of the legs through the sacrum and upwards towards the head from a stable and well-oriented back.
Rolfing session 7 – crowning
The 7th session marks the beginning of the end of the Rolfing journey. It’s a “crowning“ session in the sense that it aims to put a well oriented head atop the sub-structure that during the preceding 6 meetings had been “given” all cardinal directions – and thus awakening the perception of depth and omni-directionality.
Rolfing sessions 8, 9, and 10 – closing
Sessions 8, 9 and 10 can be regarded as an intra-Rolfing series that closes the arch of the process that the client and the Rolfer went through in the course of the past 7 sessions. If session 1 to 3 were about the superficial structures, and sessions 4-7 about the core of the body, the last three Rolfing sessions lie in between these 2 landscapes. The last three sessions are bespoke in the sense that they address the specific questions and goals of each individual client and bring meaningful closure to their journey.
Here is Advanced Rolfer Judith Roberts explaining the sequence of the Rolfing Ten Sessions:
To learn more about how the Rolfing Bodywork Programme can help you revolutionise, click here to read about Rolfing Structural Integration.
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